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Gov't to increase gamblers from 9% to 37% with creation of national lottery

The government projects a payout of Sh19.48 billion withing 3 years of creating the national lottery

MP Kimani Ichung'wa with President William Ruto

The National Assembly Departmental Committee on Sports and Culture approved the National Lottery Bill 2023 for tabling in the house

The bill, sponsored by Majority Leader Kimani Ichung'wah, seeks to create the National Lottery as the government eyes revenue from the multi-billion gambling industry.

A lottery is a chance-based game where participants purchase tickets, and the winner is determined through a random drawing of numbers.

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“The committee, having considered the National Lottery Bill (National Assembly No. 69 of 2023) and the submissions from members of the public and stakeholders, recommend that the House approves the bill with amendments as proposed in the Schedule of Amendments,” Daniel Wanyama the chair of the committee wrote in the report.

President William Ruto’s administration aims to use the proceeds of the national lottery to raise revenue and fund public projects including beneficial causes.

According to the Presidential Taskforce Report, the national lottery aims to grow citizen participation from 9.87% to 37.32% across all age groups in its initial three years.

Strategies for increasing participation involve enhancing prize pay-outs, expanding game variety, and implementing comprehensive advertising within responsible gambling guidelines.

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The projected national lottery turnover ranges from Sh9.9 billion in 2024 to Sh34.43 billion in 2033 in the low-case scenario.

Between July 2022 and the end of June 2023, Kenyans wagered a staggering Sh88.5 billion in online betting alone.

The national lottery projects to pay prize winnings of Sh19.48 billion and contribute Sh7.28 billion in taxes, including corporation taxes, during the first three years.

Additionally, Sh10.88 billion in gambling taxes is expected to support the Sports Fund and charitable causes.

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The bill establishes the National Lottery Board responsible for supervising, controlling and monitoring the operations of the national lottery.

The board members shall be paid salaries and allowances as approved by the Cabinet Secretary and on the advice of the Salaries and Remuneration Commission.

The board shall appoint a CEO for a term of three years, eligible for renewal for another three years.

The board may appoint an operator to run the national lottery on its behalf.

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The board shall get its resources from allocation by Parliament, money payable by an operator of the national lottery, money that may accrue to or vest in the board, interest from investments, loans and donations.

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